The kick-off meeting of the SHAMISEN project, led by Elisabeth Cardis, Research Professor in Radiation Epidemiology at CREAL, an ISGlobal allied center, will take place in Barcelona on 17 and 18 December in the Marie Curie/Ramón i Cajal room, of the PRBB.
As part of the EC funded OPERRA project (Open Project for the European Radiation Research Area), SHAMISEN (Nuclear Emergency Situations – Improvement of Medical and Health Surveillance) will build upon lessons learned from experiences with populations affected by Chernobyl, Fukushima and other nuclear emergencies to develop recommendations for medical and health surveillance of populations affected by previous and future radiation accidents.
Nuclear emergencies, such as those which occurred in Chernobyl and Fukushima, have resulted in large numbers of persons being exposed to ionizing radiation.
Some populations have undeniably sustained health impacts from the radiological consequences of accidents, in particular, early emergency workers in Chernobyl who suffered acute radiation syndrome and young people who developed thyroid cancer as a result of fallout from that accident. Many others, however, have suffered serious consequences that were not directly related to the biological effects of radiation, but rather induced by the event itself, the presence of radioactive contamination and consequent emergency and remediation measures taken, and/or uncertainties about radiation levels and health effects.
The project, with a duration of 18 months, will make recommendations focusing on the following three complementary aspects:
- Dose assessment supporting emergency response, clinical decision-making in the aftermath of a nuclear emergency and long-term follow-up of exposed populations;
- Improvement of living conditions of affected populations, responding to their needs and engaging them in surveillance programmes while avoiding generation of unnecessary anxiety; and
- Improvement of population estimates of radiation-induced risk both for radiation protection and for communication with affected populations, if and where feasible.
The kick-off meeting will be an opportunity for the partners (from 19 institutions in Europe and Japan, as well as experts from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine and the USA) to share experiences, and plan the work and establish the necessary collaborations.